Retirement Celebration

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Members of the department and the UCLA community gathered to celebrate the retirement of biochemistry professor Richard Weiss and MIC director Jane Strouse.

More than 60 people attended the reception in their honor in the Young Hall Student Center and Lounge on June 24th. 

In her remarks at the event, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research Dr. Tama Hasson spoke of Weiss’ many contributions to UCLA. “Dick Weiss has done more for diversity on this campus than any other faculty.” Hasson said. “He personally launched all of the initiatives that are now run through the Undergraduate Research Center – Sciences to promote diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Without his work, we would not be ranked so highly as the institution of origin for Hispanic underrepresented undergraduates who go on to achieve Ph.D.s in STEM. The only schools who send more students into Ph.D. programs are in Puerto Rico. Without Dick’s vision, and voice to promote diversity in STEM, we would not be the success we are today.” Weiss will continue to teach undergraduate level biochemistry classes part-time during his retirement.

In his remarks which followed, Prof. Michael Jung spoke very highly of Strouse’s many contributions to UCLA and the department as director of the Molecular Instrumentation Center (MIC). 

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Department Chair Catherine Clarke, Jane Strouse, Richard Weiss, outgoing Chair Miguel Garcia-Garibay.
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After a welcome from Garcia-Garibay, Clarke led a toast to Weiss and Strouse

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Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research Dr. Tama Hasson (left) and Prof. Michael Jung (right) spoke of Weiss’ and Strouse’s many contributions to UCLA

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The event was well attended by faculty, staff, students, researchers and friends of Weiss and Strouse.

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Dr. Jane Strouse (left) and attendees react to Prof. Jung’s remarks.

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Weiss’ spouse, retired UCLA biochemistry lecturer Dr. Margie Bates’, announced that it was Weiss’ birthday and guests joined her in wishing him a “happy birthday” after which Weiss made remarks.

Richard L. Weiss Biography
Weiss received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1966 from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1971. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1974. His research on the metabolism of the amino acid arginine led to identification of a mitochondrial transport protein subsequently shown to be defective in a human disease affecting the urea cycle. During his career at UCLA Weiss has been very active in student support programs. He was Director of the Center for Academic and Research Excellence (CARE) ’95-03, Faculty Director of the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) ’01-’10, Co-Director of the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS) ’03-’09, Co-Director of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Program (LSAMP BD) ’03-’05, Co-Director of the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) ’04-’07, Director of the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) ’04-‘06. Since 1995 he has served as the Director of the Science, Engineering and Mathematics Excellence through Advanced Degrees (SEM SPUR) program and since 2001 he has served as Director of the UC Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees program (UC LEADS). He was also active in the Academic Senate, chairing the Undergraduate Council (twice) and the Graduate Council. He also served as President of the Faculty Center Board of Governors.

M. Jane Strouse Biography

Strouse received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Madison-Wisconsin in 1975 partly in collaboration with Prof. Frank Anet at UCLA. She was then a postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Anet until 1980 when she became the Director of the department’s Instrumentation Facility. From 2005 until her retirement, Strouse was the Director of the UCLA Molecular Instrumentation Center (MIC). She continues to serve on the steering committees of the Association of Managers of Magnetic Resonance Laboratories (since 1992) and the Southern California Users of Magnets (since 1996).

Photos by Penny Jennings/UCLA Department of Chemistry and BIochemistry.